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The Ultimate Candy Book: More than 700 Quick and Easy, Soft and Chewy, Hard and Crunchy Sweets and Treats Paperback – October 3, 2000
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From Library Journal
Weinstein's book, in the same style as his Ultimate Ice Cream Book, offers 100 or so basic recipes for delectable candies plus variations on the themeDmany recipes, in fact, include close to a dozen versions in all. The candies are organized into the three general categories of the subtitle and range from Fudge-in-a-Minute to Turkish Taffy (in grape, peach, and even fig flavors) to Hazelnut Brittle. There's even a recipe for homemade chewing gum. With its abundance of recipes, this is a good companion to Carole Bloom's several less-ambitious candy-making titles (e.g., Truffles, Candies, & Confections, Crossing Pr., 1996).
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If desserts aren't sweet enough or not ready quickly enough, candy provides instant gratification. Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Candy Book rushes to the rescue with recipes for all sorts of favorite homemade candies as well as directions for reproducing favorite commercial candies in the home kitchen. Weinstein makes plain the simple method of combining pecans, caramel, and chocolate into homemade turtles. His chocolate matzo makes the deprivations of the Passover season much more bearable. Some unexpected treats appear here, such as coconut snowballs: crisp coconut coating the outside of balls of contrastingly moist, chewy coconut. What's unusual is that they're served straight from the deep freeze. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Granted there are some easy recipes that would be great to make with children (the entire first chapter,) but complex candy recipes are also included. This is a clearly printed, easy to read black and white, no-nonsense cookbook, comprehensive in nature and chock-full of ideas. There are NO photographs, normally a point of contention with me but in this situation I had no problem. Most candy is pretty straightforward in appearance, which is not the case with many types of cooking/baking - so although photographs would have been nice, their absence did not detract. Where appearance is unusual, Weinstein took pains to clearly describe how to create the candy.
High altitude candy making is a problem I have repeatedly wrestled with and although it is not the subject of this comprehensive book, I found the author's (Bruce Weinstein) suggestion to test the candy thermometer to find the boiling point very smart. Perhaps this seems obvious, but it never occurred to me, and ultimately, all that matters is what each thermometer registers. I was using another author's suggestion -- subtract fifteen degrees from any temperature given to adjust for altitude -- but Weinstein's method is much more accurate in candy making where there is little room for error.
Also, I appreciated the reminder of how weather affects candy making - high humidity and high temperatures. Further, the advice for treating burns is evidence of the thoroughness of the material. That is the point - the author makes an effort to cover every eventuality in the candy making process.
I prepared the Burnt Sugar Fudge and the Mocha Buttercream Truffles (a variation from the basic Buttercream Truffle recipe) and was very pleased with the results. I plan on trying the Infused Truffles. The basic recipe is infused with black tea and variations include infusing with basil, Earl Grey tea, sliced ginger, juniper berries and tarragon. Every time I look through the book I find another recipe I want to try -- some fun some sophisticated -- Gummy Bears with variations, Halvah, Chewing Gum, Buttermilk Pralines (one variation includes Tabasco sauce), Chocolate Cherries with variations that include adding a small piece of jalapeno pepper, spiked cherries (vodka, kirsch or brandy) and on and on. Whether the user only has 20 minutes or a couple of hours this book has recipes to suit any situation. This is a book I know I will use again and again.
This book is for those who have some knowledge of baking already.